WOMENSTD 315 - Women and Literature
Section: 002 Desperate Literary Housewives
Term: FA 2009
Subject: Women's Studies (WOMENSTD)
Department: LSA Women's Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Class Misc Info:
This course satisfies the American Literature and New Traditions requirement for English Concentrators.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:

Everyone knows that the American dream is wrapped up in the idea of having a perfect home. So why is American literature so haunted by the unhappiness a home can cause? “Desperate Housewives” are the subject of television’s most popular contemporary series, but they’re also recurring figures in American novels. This course will ask: what makes desperate housewives so interesting — so funny, so scary, so sad…and sometimes, so powerful? What’s special about the idea of a woman destroying — or being destroyed by — her home? How do stories change when it’s the men who are desperate? We’ll start with the television show’s pilot, and then explore the ways its themes — home, loyalty, money, status, gender, family, politics, and desperation — emerge differently in gothic, sentimental, realist, modernist, and contemporary novels. Students enrolling in this class should thus be prepared to think critically about the portrayal of gender and domesticity in a wide range of challenging texts. Texts will include Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Awakening, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Virgin Suicides as well as other novels and the film Aliens.

Assignments for this class will include two short formal essays, several informal assignments and quizzes, and a final exam.

WOMENSTD 315 - Women and Literature
Schedule Listing
002 (LEC)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
003 (LEC)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
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